Keep cool this summer with our ultimate guide to the best ice cream shops in Hong Kong, featuring Gelato Messina, Venchi and more…
We won’t turn our nose up to a good old mochi ice cream from 7-Eleven, but if you’re looking for more frozen treats around town, we’ve got a long list for you to eat through this summer. Covering the most Insta-worthy scoops, ice cream sandwiches, boozy ice pops and plant-based concoctions, here’s our guide to the best ice creams in Hong Kong.
Gelato Messina – Australian cult favourite with Hong Kong-inspired flavours
Brought to us all the way from Down Under, Australian cult favourite Gelato Messina presents freshly churned gelatos, available in an array of signature flavours and rotating specials. Not to be missed are the locally inspired flavours, including Yuen Yeung, Tofu Fa and the LANDMARK exclusive Egg Tart.
Sassy Tip: Celebrating a special occasion? Check out the brand’s whimsical selection of handmade gelato cakes, each one as IG-worthy as the last.
Gelato Messina, G/F, Car Po Commercial Building, 37-43 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong
Messina LANMARK, Shop 239, 2/F, LANDMARK ATRIUM, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.gelatomessina.com.hk
Dood Bottega Gelateria – Handmade Italian Gelato
Dood Bottega Gelateria’s futuristic K11 MUSEA store is hard to miss, but it’s the handmade Italian gelato that’s the real draw. Request the Tasting Petti, an offering of four mini cups, to save you the trouble of having to pick just one flavour.
BARISTA by Givrés – Insta-famous Gelato Roses
Sat on the corner of Staunton and Shelley Street, this artisan gelato café serves stunning patented Gelato Roses, assembled petal by petal. Known also for its coffee, signature offerings at BARISTA by Givrés include the Rose Affogato and Floating Rose (iced coffee or tea topped with a gelato rose).
Gelato Go – 70+ gelato flavours
This American gelato franchise opened its first Asia flagship store in Hong Kong, bringing us over 70 flavours to indulge in, featuring natural ingredients such as Valrhona chocolate and pistachios flown in from Italy.
Coolhaus – The hottest new animal-free ice cream
We can’t tell you how good this animal-free dairy ice cream is! Free from lactose and cholesterol, Californian ice cream brand Coolhaus retains that whipped, delicious traditional taste while being completely vegan, kosher, halal and non-GMO. Flavours include signature cookies and cream, molten chocolate, peanut butter fudge plus Asian-inspired hojicha, taro and boba.
Coolhaus, available at 7-Eleven and Wellcome locations across Hong Kong, cool.haus
Via Tokyo – Matcha soft-serve ice-cream
If you have a penchant for matcha, Via Tokyo is the spot for you. Expect to find a line outside this popular little soft serve ice cream store. The Original Matcha Cone never fails to hit the spot, but we’re always excited when the limited-time Royal Milk Tea flavour returns to the menu.
Igloo Dessert Bar – Ice cream bar by the harbour
Crossing the harbour by ferry? Situated right by the Central Pier, Igloo Dessert Bar offers a wide range of flavours to have in a cup, cone or cookie bowl. Our favourites include the White Rabbit Candy, Horlicks and Maltesers gelatos. Also available in-store is its range of Ice Age! brand animal-free ice creams.
Smile Yogurt – Layered frozen yogurt creations
Sure to put a smile on your face, Smile Yogurt does froyo right, serving up the frozen treat with a wide range of toppings and add-ons to choose from. Cool down with a cup of Wild Summer (featuring layers of crispy pineapple, lychee, raspberry sauce, mango, homemade crumbs and vanilla frozen yogurt) or the Premium Mango Fever (with layers of fresh mango, mango sorbet, mango and passion fruit marshmallows, mango pudding and vanilla frozen yogurt).
Venchi – Premium-quality Italian gelato
Head to Venchi for some delectable artisan gelato flavours created with premium-quality and natural ingredients such as fresh milk, fruit and nuts (in particular Piedmont Hazelnuts and Green Pistachio from Bronte). Being a cioccogelateria, popular picks include the Cremino and Cuor di Cacao dark chocolate, Giandujotto and milk-chocolate Nocciolato.
Happy Cow – Hong Kong-made vegan ice cream
Just because you can’t eat dairy, doesn’t mean you can’t indulge! Just as creamy and moorish as the milky stuff, Happy Cow delivers delicious, locally produced plant-based ice cream. Available in flavours we know and love, such as Chocolate, Salted Caramel Swirl and Mint Choc Chip, our summertime go-to is the Pure Coconut ice cream textured with desiccated coconut.
Holly Brown – Ice cream and toppings mixed on a frozen slab
You don’t go to Holly Brown for a simple scoop of ice cream. How could you with all the delicious flavours and fun toppings available? Get your mishmash creation in a tub or waffle bowl, or piled on top of a block of toast for extra indulgence. You can feel a little less guilty knowing Holly Brown’s gelato contains 50% less fat than many of the premium ice cream brands, plus they’re made from natural ingredients and real fruit (with no preservatives or artificial flavouring!).
Owl’s Choux & Gelato –Ice cream sandwiches made with choux pastry
This little gem is tucked away in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, and serves delicious gelato stuffed in a delicate choux pastry. On sweltering summer days, we love the tart Mango Tango Mega Gelato Choux. The staff at Owl’s Choux are more than happy to make switches to the fillings so you can customise your choux sandwich however you please!
XTC Gelato – Natural, low-fat gelato
An oldie but a goldie, we consider XTC Gelato a Hong Kong staple, with shops conveniently located in Central. Offering a massive selection of classic and innovative flavours (such as Banana Caramella, Stem Ginger and Hong Kong Milk Tea), there’s something to satisfy everyone. Got a special occasion coming up? Ask about the gelato cakes available to order or have custom-made.
Sassy Tip: You can also find XTC’s gelato in various supermarkets across the city.
Gino’s Gelato – Small-batch, artisan gelato made fresh daily
A go-to when you’re on a day out in Stanley or up at The Peak, Gino’s serves small batch artisan gelato made fresh daily with 100% organic Irish milk. Using traditional Italian techniques, this gelateria marries fresh ingredients and seasonal fruits to produce over 30 flavours.
Sassy Tip: Don’t let your furry friend miss out the store’s doggy treats, with a portion of each purchase going directly towards helping Hong Kong’s rescue pups.
Gino’s Gelato, Shop G09, G/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, Hong Kong, 2899 0314
N*ICE POPS – Gourmet ice pops
Completely natural, with no artificial ingredients or preservatives, Nice Pop’s gourmet ice pops come in a variety of enticing flavours and colours. Handmade in small batches right here in Hong Kong, flavours are inspired by traditional Mexican paletas, classic cocktails, traditional Chinese desserts and more. Did we mention most of the pops are vegan?
Read More: Your Guide To Local Hong Kong Desserts
Mister Softee – Hong Kong soft-serve ice cream truck
Practically an institution in Hong Kong, we’re well attuned to the sound of a Mr. Softee ice cream truck nearby. The menu may be limited, but you can’t go wrong with the classic soft serve ice cream cone. There aren’t many vans left around Hong Kong but you can usually find one outside the Central and Tsim Sha Tsui ferry piers.
More Ice Cream Shops In Hong Kong
- Little Bao – Deep-fried ice cream baos. www.little-bao.com
- Elephant Grounds – A mammoth menu of unique ice cream flavours, coming in waffle cones, ice cream sandwiches and soft-serve form. www.elephantgrounds.com
- Kowloon Dairy – Makers of local favourite Mochi Ice. www.kowloondairy.com
- Ice Age! – Asia’s first-ever animal-free ice cream made with real dairy proteins. iceage.hk
- Yo Mama – Creamy frozen yogurt coupled with your choice of your favourite toppings. www.yomama.com.hk
- Hello Molly Gelato – Gelato made from scratch in Hong Kong, coming in adventurous flavours. www.hellomollygelato.com
- So Coco – Cruelty-free vegan ice creams made locally with organic coconut milk and organic sugar. www.sococo.com.hk
- Häagen-Dazs – Classic and seasonal flavours, with more than 20 locations across the city. www.haagendazs.com.hk
Main image courtesy of Gelato Messina via Instagram, image 1 courtesy of Gelato Messina via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of BARISTA by Givrés via Instagram, image 3 courtesy of Coolhaus via Instagram, image 4 courtesy of Igloo Dessert Bar via Instagram, image 5 courtesy of Venchi via Instagram, image 6 courtesy of Holly Brown via Instagram, image 7 courtesy of XTC Gelato via Instagram, image 8 courtesy of N*ICE Pops via Instagram.